– MarketWatch


Markets in Europe rose slightly following a late-rallying Asia session, as investors waited for signals from the Fed and U.S.-China trade talks.

How did markets perform?

The Euro Stoxx 600

SXXP, +0.51%

 was at 383.66, 0.4% higher than Monday’s close of 382.11.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100

UKX, +0.38%

 rose to 7,333.87, 0.48% above yesterday at 7299.19.

In Germany, the DAX

DAX, +0.09%

 was the biggest gainer among the regional indexes at 11,713.76, eking out a 0.49% gain over yesterday which closed at 11,657.06.

After a spate of Brexit news-induced volatility Monday, the pound

GBPUSD, +0.1660%

 improved modestly to $1.3262, up 0.06% from $1.3254 at yesterday’s close.

France’s CAC 40

PX1, +0.30%

 was briefly in the red, though just barely, before recovering to 5,422.59. It was up 0.19% from Monday’s session, which ended at 5,412.83.

What’s driving the markets?

For now, very little. With further trade talks between the U.S. and China potentially delayed until July, focus is now on the U.S. Federal Reserve.

February U.K. unemployment figures surprised to the upside, coming in slightly below consensus at 3.9% down from 4% in January. Germany’s ZEW Economic Sentiment indicator is expected to sit at -11%, up from the previous month’s -13.4%, as Bloomberg reports that economists at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley see an end to the euro-area’s ongoing economic slump.

The never-ending Brexit drama took another turn, though it’s unclear in what direction. U.K. parliament speaker of the house John Bercow announced that he would not allow the government to proceed with a third vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal without significant changes. There are steps May can take, but few signals that she planned to use them. The pound dropped sharply on Bercow’s announcement, but recovered in short order.

What stocks are active?

Both Deutsche Bank AG

DB, +4.28%

  and Commerzbank AG

CBK, -1.94%

 gave back some of Monday’s gains following an announcement Sunday that they were discussing a potential merger. Deutsche fell nearly 2% while Commerzbank dropped 2.5%.

Chile-based mining company Antofagasta Plc

ANTO, +4.62%

 is up 4.28% following its full-year earnings report where it showed a $543.7 million net profit (down 26% year over year) and planned cost savings in the coming year of $100 million.

Other companies whose earnings were cheered by the market include online groceries retailer Ocado Group Plc,

OCDO, +4.27%

 up 3.57%. Its first half revenue rose 11.2% despite a fire at its depot in Andover.

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst for Markets.com: “Revenue growth was impacted by the fire in the quarter but Ocado’s investment thesis rests far less on U.K. retail sales than it does on its tech-based deals. Going forward, it will be very interesting to assess if there is any loss of revenues as customers switch from Ocado to [U.K. supermarket chain] Waitrose following the [joint venture with U.K. supermarket and retail giant] Marks & Spencer.”

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